Fox9 owner gives $1 million to pro-Emmer Republican Governors Association

The owners of another Twin Cities TV station have donated corporate cash to a group backing Republican Tom Emmer for governor.

This time, it’s Fox9 owners News Corp., who gave the Republican Governors Association $1 million, Bloomberg News reports. The RGA, of course, supports GOP nominee Emmer and will likely spend some of its war chest ($58 million through June 30) to keep the Minnesota governorship in Republican hands. It also has 36 other state races to fund.

So now, two of the four major-network stations are helping fund pro-Emmer groups. Earlier this summer, KSTP owner Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. (HBI), gave $150,000 to MnForward, a new group that has already run pro-Emmer ads.

The Fox and HBI contributions are not perfectly analogous. HBI’s donation is newly legal thanks to January’s Citizens United decision; the Supreme Court ruling allowed shareholder dough to be used for direct advocacy. In contrast, the RGA is a “527” group, which has been able to take unlimited corporate cash for years (as has its Democratic counterpart).

Other differences:

MnForward limits its activities to Minnesota, while the RGA operates nationwide. And News Corp. — part of Rupert Murdoch’s empire that includes Fox News — is based in New York, while HBI is headquartered a few light-rail stops from the Summit Ave. governor’s mansion.

It’s unlikely that KARE11’s owner will jump into the fray; when it comes to politics, Virginia-based Gannett Co. has a corporate no-giving policy. CBS, which owns WCCO, has also has a conduct statement prohibiting corporate fund to parties, candidates and political action committees (PACs), although the CBS PAC may give to federal candidates.

Company executives and employees can donate to candidates, parties, PACs or other political groups, of course.

Update: AP political reporter Brian Bakst helpfully provides links to the RGA and DGA corporate donations.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (19)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/17/2010 - 11:42 am.

    Your headline’s a bit of a stretch, even if the RGA passes on part of that donation to or in support of Emmer.

  2. Submitted by David Brauer on 08/17/2010 - 11:47 am.

    James – you’re right. The hed now specifies the RGA, and I moved up the fact that the group has 36 other races to fund.

    Thanks for the considered feedback.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/17/2010 - 02:44 pm.

    And what was that old conservative pundit’s tale about the “liberal media” again?

    It’s been clear for awhile that the right wing has completed their long term project of buying up the MSM and that they’ve bought off the commentators by turning them into media stars with six and seven figure salaries; salaries which the commentariat are not willing to risk by biting the hand that feeds them.

    So can we finally give that “liberal media” meme a rest? The only way it was ever true was because as compared to today’s fact and logic-challenged versions of conservative “thought,” truth does, indeed, have a “liberal bias.”

    Now the MSM and even NPR and MPR, as dependent as they are on corporate contributions, no longer worry about actual, factual truth. “Truthiness” is good enough (and it’s considerably cheaper and doesn’t tick conservative whiners off sending them off into paranoid, raving, apoplexy about the “liberal media”).

    (Life has got to be hard, when, somewhere, in the depths of your being some part of you knows that you’ve hitched yourself to a “honey wagon” without realizing that what you were going to get was nothing like what the label promised. The subtle odor of what’s really in there is trying to tell you the truth, but such a big mistake is hard to admit.)

    Of course when the actual truth about where our country, primarily as an economic entity, and our planet, as an ecosystem, have been headed for the past three or more decades, truth which had to be kept under wraps because allowing it to come to light would have endangered the wealth of the fabulously wealthy and the corporate profits that they so depend upon for their daily overindulgences in avarice;…

    while so many of us have allowed ourselves to be distracted with B.S. media stories dragging us along on each of the latest brightest, shiniest, media darling snipe hunts, (ground zero mosques, abortion, gun control, birtherism, tentherism, federal deficit, etc.)…

    when the truth rears it’s ugly head, it will be too late for all of us including our sycophantic neighbors who are currently in such hypnotized thrall to their right wing media stars and masters, and, in the end, even those at the very top of our society, economically, to do anything about it.

    Then there will be massive weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth aimed at the media for not telling us what was really going on.

    When we get where we seem to be, inevitably, going, very few of us will have the courage to look in the mirror and admit that the truth was right there in front of us but we didn’t realize it because we didn’t want want to, and tended to, at least figuratively, kill any messengers who tried to bring the truth to us.

    So rest easy and enjoy the show (bread and circuses?) while you can, folks. It’s probably too late, already, to prevent the ride from getting pretty damned bumpy within most of our lifetimes. It’s just a matter of time before we see what else blows out besides an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

  4. Submitted by B Maginnis on 08/17/2010 - 02:50 pm.


    You’re preparing similiar breathless headlines and cogent “analysis” regarding the liberal PACs, right?

    And the Dayton family contributions, right?

  5. Submitted by Tony George on 08/17/2010 - 03:22 pm.

    I’m from Minnesota, and here in Minnesota all the corporate executives and CEOs are vicious ignorant extreme right-wing Tea Partiers. Look at Target and Best Buy. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if there were corporate executives who actually had a real concern for the people of Minnesota?

  6. Submitted by Brian Simon on 08/17/2010 - 03:32 pm.

    I am personally skeptical that the RGA is going to spend significantly on Emmer, who is looking like something of an underdog these days*. If he doesn’t get something to stick on Dayton soon, his national support will dry up – there are plenty of other races to spend on, that are more likely to produce a return on investment.

    * In a 3 way race where the IP will get 10% of the vote, the winner only needs 45%+1 to win. Polls show Dayton is already there – if Emmer/Horner don’t eat into that support, contributors aren’t going to spend money on a losing cause.

  7. Submitted by David Brauer on 08/17/2010 - 04:08 pm.

    BD – sure, if they’re in the media biz. Let me know when Clear Channel ponies up.

  8. Submitted by John Edwards on 08/17/2010 - 07:51 pm.

    Fox 9 . . . isn’t that the station that
    extreme liberal DFL gubernatorial hopeful Matt Entenza went to for his running mate, news anchor Robin Robinson?

  9. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/17/2010 - 08:25 pm.

    Weasel 9… isn’t that the station Robyn Robinson LEFT to become Matt Etenza’s running mate?

  10. Submitted by Paul Scott on 08/17/2010 - 09:05 pm.

    It isn’t going to work. All the money in the world isn’t going to make the voters of select a guy so transparently determined to ride out the policy questions. Hockey dad. Well, whoopee.

  11. Submitted by B Maginnis on 08/17/2010 - 09:05 pm.


    How ’bout you identify Fox 9’s parent NewsCorp as the parent of America’s #1 News Source – aka Fox News?

    Whoops – cat out of bag!

  12. Submitted by David Brauer on 08/17/2010 - 09:19 pm.

    BD –

    You need to re-read the piece. Fox News is in there.

    And, BTW, they’re number one ON CABLE. Even Katie Couric has an audience 3x Bill O’Reilly’s.

  13. Submitted by Rick Ellis on 08/17/2010 - 11:23 pm.

    FWIW, here’s a rundown of the major media companies that donated to the DGA so far in 2010:




    Dish Network-$25,000

    GE Corporate (Ft. Myers, FL)-$105,000

    Jacobs Entertainment-$100,000

    Level 3 Communications-$25,000

    Motion Picture Association Of America-$15,000

    Time Warner-$35,000

    It’s worth noting that GE donated a similar amount to the Republicans.

  14. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 08/18/2010 - 06:37 am.

    And the DFL legislature has funded WDFL aka MPR to the tune of millions for its “unbiased” coverage.

    Look even at MinnPost. Have its contributors have skewed its news coverage ? Absolutely.

    Yet Dave Brauer is all in a tizzy when the other side does the same.

  15. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 08/18/2010 - 08:08 am.

    I’m starting to think that Minnpost bloggers operate strictly in groupthink mode because of the lack of any contradicting viewpoints on the site… or the editors simply don’t allow a different point of view. I don’t understand the point of the post given the donation was not Citizens United related. I guess Brauer does like taking shots at Fox9, if anyone remembers him false accusing Fox 9 Investigators of trolling youth in a white van.

  16. Submitted by David Brauer on 08/18/2010 - 10:15 am.

    Joe – YOUR viewpoint is on this site.

    As for the “false accusation,” it wasn’t false. The original story noted the plan, that it was aborted, and included Fox9’s explanation:

    You may not have liked my criticism that the Fox idea was super-dumb, but it doesn’t make it false. The only thing I would’ve done different was talk to Van Pilsum after the corporate spokesman declined comment.

    Raj – having written many times about MPR’s legislative funding AND MinnPost’s contributions, I suggest you check the archives. I suspect most Minnesotans disagree with the WDFL thing, tho. I hear a lot less barking from the right about MPR than I do about other media outlets, and GOP politicians practically trip over themselves to get on its air.

  17. Submitted by Raj Maddali on 08/18/2010 - 10:55 am.


    Writing about WDFL’s legislative funding does not address the open bias that exists in its coverage; A point that is never raised by you.

    Also Democratic politicians also appear on Fox. Does that make Fox “fair and balanced”.

  18. Submitted by B Maginnis on 08/18/2010 - 10:57 am.

    Demos, Brau, it’s the demos…..

    In any case, good to see the media money headed Emmers way.

    Heaven knows it’s tough to match the bored, erratic heir’s apparently bottomless pit of money.

    ‘Specially when you add in his own family’s contributions!

    Is it November yet?

  19. Submitted by David Brauer on 08/18/2010 - 10:59 am.

    Raj – that’s probably because I don’t find them biased. I guess that’s an opinion just like yours.

    And please, the number of Dems on Fox pales in comparison to MPR’s general balance, reflected in the eagerness of the GOP to appear there.

Leave a Reply